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B.C. state of emergency 2021


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28 minutes ago, Mackcanuck said:

I was living in Sidney at the time. 

So much ash in the air, it was dull and gray even at noon.


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31 minutes ago, Mackcanuck said:

My Mom was pregnant with my brother at this time. he was 7 months gestated and he jumped like the dickens to hear Mom tell it, rest her soul. 

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Wildfire up at Lytton.



A wildfire just west of Lytton continues to spread and has now scorched eight square kilometres of trees and bush in less than 24 hours.

B.C. Wildfire Service spokeswoman Taylor Colman said Friday that the out-of-control fire was burning vigorously and was being fuelled by gusty winds.

Officials say in an online update that the fire is about 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton and is spreading in steep terrain on the west flank of the fire.

Several evacuation orders and alerts have been issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Lytton First Nation for properties on the west side of the Fraser River, across the water from Lytton.

The regional district is still working to confirm reports that three buildings were lost in the hours after the flames broke out.

Colman says the fire was sparked just after noon Thursday and reaching it is a challenge because there are few roads in the area and the tiny ferry that crosses the Fraser River at Lytton is out of service due to high water levels.

Premier John Horgan said on social media that his thoughts are with people in the area.

“It’s unimaginable to face a second wildfire a year after the devastation they faced,” he said on Twitter. “Thank you to the crews working to keep people safe.”

The B.C. Wildfire Service said three 21-person crews and three initial attack crews are fighting the fire. They are being supported by six helicopters. Three airtankers and a lead aircraft known as a bird dog are also on the way to the fire, the service said in an online update Friday afternoon.

With other operational and support crew on site, it said there’s a total of 80 people working on the fire.

Tricia Thorpe lives in the area and said the fire is renewing memories of last year’s devastating wildfire that destroyed Lytton.

“It’s devastating. I feel for the local fire crew,” she told The Canadian Press. “They are a great, caring group of men and women and for them to have to experience this at home, again, has got to be gut wrenching.”

Thorpe said her heart goes out to those she calls the “westside people,” meaning those living on the west side of the Fraser River, across from Lytton.

“They are the ones who welcomed us into their community last year when we lost everything in the Lytton wildfire,” she said.

Evacuees have been told to travel north to Lillooet, where a reception centre has been prepared.

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6-9 homes destroyed, so far in fire


An out-of-control wildfire 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton, B.C., has destroyed at least six houses, say officials, who warn that number could rise as crews continue to fight the fast-growing blaze that has been burning since Thursday.

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Fire getting bigger


LYTTON, B.C. — A wildfire nearly two kilometres northwest of Lytton, B.C., has grown to 1,706 hectares, British Columbia's Wildfire Service said Sunday.


It said four unit crews, five initial attack crews, 19 Lytton First Nation firefighters, an incident management team and structure protection personnel are actively working to contain the fire that remains classified as "out of control." 

The acting chief of the Lytton First Nation said 30 evacuees were able to briefly return home to salvage food they left behind when the wildfire broke out Thursday.

John Haugen said the fire destroyed six residences and triggered evacuation orders that forced a total of 97 people from his community and about 40 people from neighbouring areas out of their homes.

Haugen said electricity in the region isn't expected to be restored for at least 10 days, and because a timeline for when people may officially return to their properties has yet to be determined, rotting food would create another issue for residents.

"The fire has gone by in some areas so they did have brief access. There is no hydro and if they leave items in freezers the potential is to have rotting meat smells permeate their homes," he said Sunday.

Haugen said one house was saved and firefighters have been doing a "good job."

"There's the potential for a thunderstorm today, and that could help or it could push things in a different direction, so people have to be on guard," he said. 

Though he says some of the smoke has diminished, Environment Canada has maintained a special air quality advisory it issued Saturday for the Fraser Canyon due to the fire. It said conditions are expected to last 24 to 48 hours, but the bulletin will be updated again Monday.

This comes just over a year after another wildfire burned down most of Lytton and displaced many residents who have yet to return home.

Provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Friday that neither the village of Lytton nor any other communities are in the fire's path.

Officials say the cause of the blaze is unknown but is being investigated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 17, 2022.

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